Last month Becky had a moment close to tears where as
Institute she led the class in an activity, Lerato stood up out of
13 Joubert St Ext her wheelchair to join in a game of “Simon says” and then
Tel: 011 484-3128 collapsed back into her wheelchair giggling. We are so
Fax: 088 011 484-3128 grateful to the swimming teachers for agreeing to be
firstname.lastname@example.org part with Lerato
www.thusanani.org.za of our multi-disciplinary team working NPO 047028
MONTHLY NEWSLETTER make more progress in
and look forward to watching her SEPTEMBER 2008
Lerato learns to swim!
Lerato is a delightful little girl who lives at St Francis
Care Centre. As a result of an HIV-related condition,
suffered a stroke before the age of 1 year and now
suffers from cerebral palsy. She was placed at St
Francis as a result of her HIV status but this is not a
home that deals specifically with children with physical
disabilities and placement in another facility has not yet
been organized. As a result, Lerato has not received the
various forms of therapy one would hope to give a child
with her condition.
As a result of her condition, Lerato is unable to use
either of her legs or her right arm as these limbs are
spastic. Last year, Becky worked with Lerato on an
individual basis to aid in managing her spasticity and to
assist with her functional abilities (such as bathing,
dressing and feeding). Becky has also been working with
closely with Lerato’s caregivers, giving them weekly
exercises and tips for handling Lerato. This year, Becky’s
most important role has been co-ordinating a multi-
disciplinary team to work with Lerato. Becky encouraged
the centre’s social worker to organize regular
physiotherapy and once this was achieved, handed over
the role of individual therapy and staff education to the
Last year, the children from St Francis began swimming
lessons, but Lerato has never been included in this as it
was felt she wouldn’t manage. This year Becky managed to
convince both the staff at St Francis as well as the
swimming teachers to take Lerato into the pool. Her
progress has been phenomenal! Lerato loves being in the
water and the warm water appears to help ease her
spasticity. Becky has worked closely with the swimming
teachers to help them with how to transfer Lerato in and
out of the pool as well as with handling ideas for her time
in the water. All the hard work of everyone involved
became worth it last month when Lerato took her first
With spring in the air and the memory of cold mornings and long nights fading, we are looking forward
to the last stretch of 2008. All too soon it will be the Festive Season. Within a couple of weeks the
shops will be starting to entice us to buy for Christmas, kids will start making their wish lists and family
and friends will plan spending time together.
At Thusanani Childrens Foundation we will also be preparing to do the last rush of adoption assessments
for those babies fortunate enough to go to loving families permanently. How blessed those families will
be to have a new baby at their Christmas Tree! The babies not ready for adoption and in need of
therapy will continue with us right up to the Holidays.
In the various outreaches to the Children’s Homes (Mother Theresa’s Home, St. Francis Care Centre,
Lambano Baby Sanctuary and The Love of Christ Ministries) therapy will also continue on a regular basis.
We will have discussions with management of those Homes to plan for 2009 and we will identify their
need for educational toys and special equipment for those children with special needs. The little ones
getting ready to go to Big School next year will receive extra dedicated attention to help them be
prepared for this step. So often we find that children from an institution such as a children’s home
have difficulty with their first year of formal education.
We still have a number of workshops scheduled for the rest of 2008. Thusanani hopes to train another
30 care workers in the community and 6 care givers in a children’s home before the end of this year,
empowering them with knowledge about childhood development and stimulation of young children. This
training is free to the participants and we thank our sponsors for their generosity.
Our yearly outing to the Zoo with the children from Mashwenga Informal Settlement is scheduled for
the 29th November. The excitement mounts to an all time high as our sponsors, trustees, family and
friends all prepare to make this day unforgettable for these vulnerable pre-schoolers. There is a ferry
ride, lots of games, watching the animals being fed.......and a possibly visit by a man in a red suit! We
promise to capture some of the action on our camera.
At Thusanani we are ready to accept the many donations of educational toys we are expecting over the
next few months. People will be clearing the toy boxes of their children and pass on the toys in good
condition. Others will buy extra when they shop for their own kids and grandchildren and bring it to us
to distribute. This will in turn make it possible for us to donate to the Children’s Homes and to
Communities where there is need.
So here at Thusanani we are looking forward to these warmer days and all it will bring for us in our daily
Wish List :
schedule. As always it is a pleasure to share your generosity with those that are so precious to us.
The staff at Thusanani. toys:
Educational “baby Gyms”
Walkers for toddlers to push while learning
Other Toys: Push bikes, tricycles, prams
Office equipment: copy paper, fridge, small urn, laptop 4 training
If you would like to support us, you can make a secure Credit Card Donation via our website.
Alternatively the following are our banking details:
Name of Account: The Thusanani Children’s Foundation
Branch: Melrose Arch
Branch Code: 196-605
Account Number: 1966 466226